By now, almost everyone has a smartphone. We all can’t wait to download the latest app, play the newest game, or look at the newest post. However, there are many different types of smartphone accessories that keep your phone looking good, fully charged, and ready for action. These are my choices for the top ten smartphone accessories under $20.
First on my list is a decent pair of earbuds. They range in price from $5 to $5,000, but you can find a good pair for about $15. My choice are the Macaw T1000 Bluetooth earbuds, which are a bit more expensive, but no matter what earbuds you choose, you won’t regret your purchase. Since earbuds are small, you can throw them in your pocket and forget they’re there. However, in that occasional chance when you need them, you’ll be very thankful you remembered.
What if you want to listen to music with a friend? The gadget you’ll be looking for is a headphone splitter. They turn your phone’s headphone port (or lack thereof, cough cough) into two headphone ports so you can listen to your favorite video or podcast with a friend. Best of all, they’re only a couple dollars. For a little bit more, splitters with five or more connections are also available, just in case you want to have a headphone party.
Keeping with the audio trend, another device that has surged in popularity lately is Bluetooth speakers. While most are over $20, there are a few that are under that price point, and most of them sound great and work well. Since I don’t usually listen to music with others, I just have a tiny Bluetooth speaker that I got as a free gift, but if you like to play music at parties or gatherings, investing in a good Bluetooth speaker is a great choice.
Next up are microfiber cloths. I have about ten of these in my house, and they are really useful. My phone and laptop displays get dusty and fingerprint-y very easily, so having a microfiber cloth for quick cleaning makes life easier. In addition, as a glasses-wearer, I love having them around whenever I feel like I’m looking through a cloud. Microfiber cloths are only a few dollars, but they’ll change your life.
One gadget I use occasionally is a smartphone and tablet stylus. They’re especially helpful for people who do a bit of drawing, but for anyone, they’re a good accessory to have. I don’t use them very often, but my brother, who uses one every day for taking notes on his iPad really likes them. They range in price from only a dollar to $20 and can be indispensable tools for students.
As you know from my Tech Travel Backpack video, which you can check out here, I love cables. Especially multifunction cables. It’s a big hassle to bring multiple cables with you for all your different devices, so having a cable with multiple plugs is great. Some cables have adapters built in, but with these, you can only charge one device at a time. For this reason, I love cables with multiple tips. Some even let you charge up to five devices at a time! You can find these cables on Amazon for only $10.
These accessories don’t get mentioned much, especially since they are only available for Android phones, but I think they are some of the most helpful adapters ever. USB OTG adapters are great because they do exactly what they are supposed to. They give you a full-size USB port on your phone. For example, you can use a flash drive or mouse with your phone, and with multi-port adapters, you can turn your Android phone into a small on-the-go computer. If you are interested in seeing a video about this idea, let me know down in the comments.
Keeping on the theme of storage and Android phones, MicroSD cards are great. For very little money, you can add twice your phone’s storage. For someone like me who takes a lot of photos, not having to worry about them filling up my device’s storage is great. In addition, when I want to transfer my photos to my computer, I don’t need to fiddle with different cables and connectors. I simply pop out my MicroSD card and transfer files to my heart’s content. If you have an Android phone and are constantly running out of storage, you should definitely get a MicroSD card.
I’ve been talking a lot about Android-only gadgets, but one of my favorite smartphone accessories is available on both platforms: Google Cardboard. Most virtual reality setups are hundreds of dollars and require an expensive computer to work properly, but with Google Cardboard, you can get an intro into VR for only $10. Sure, the games don’t run at 90 frames per second, but for a tiny fraction of the cost of mainstream VR systems, Cardboard offers more than enough for the price. My favorite game for Cardboard is Hidden Temple, and I highly recommend you get a headset and try it out.
Rounding out my list is the good old-fashioned battery bank. You probably have one, but since they are one of the most common smartphone accessories, I couldn’t forget to include them. They come in all different shapes and capacities, but if you do a bit of Google searching, you can definitely find one that will work best for you. They go for as little as $20, like the one I have from PNY, but they are also more expensive for higher capacities and charging speeds. Speaking of charging speeds, make sure whatever bank you choose will be able to charge your phone quickly, since most of the time, the purpose of a battery bank is to charge your phone quickly while on-the-go.
Since this gadget is way over $20, I couldn’t put it on my list, but I had to mention it anyway. On both iPhones and Android phones, different smartwatches are available to suit your needs. I have had a Huawei watch for many months, and while I thought I would stop wearing it after a bit, this has not been the case. I rely on my smartwatch for notifications and alerts, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
What are your favorite smartphone gadgets? Be sure to let me know in the comments. I love to hear your feedback!